Flash Into Action


Obligations have cleared up recently in a significant way to allow development on Maven. We're looking at having something new presentable by the time CGDC rolls around.

In the meantime, check out this trippy shot of soldiers with Flash-like symptoms in the middle of some timing refactors.

Flash Soldiers Screenshot
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Better Weather


Did I ever show off the new weather graphics from Freedan Studios?
Better Weather Screenshot

Layering


In the real world, when one person is standing in front of another, you see the front person and not so much of the one behind. In a game world, it is a little bit difficult to ensure that interacting objects display to show accurately who is "in front." Let me show you what I am talking about.
Guy on top of woman's head

If we choose to not think about layering, we may easily end up drawing sprites in random order, with the effect that one sprite may look like it is walking on another sprite's head.
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Hiccups Hath Occurred


I do not want to be writing this post. Unfortunately, The Designer and I were mistaken to give a release date of August 6 for the demo. Being new to game design, we are still figuring out how long goals will take to reach. Ironically, though I made a blog post concerning time management just last week, The Designer and I are still working on our own. We hope that you will nevertheless continue to follow our progress for the day on which the demo actually releases. In the meantime, here is one of the sprites that you will find in the map:

Thanks for reading,
~ Freedan


Stall

Pre-Production!


The longer one works with digital media, the more one realizes just how necessary planning is. For Maven maps, this is especially true. After creating the first section of a larger map (The garrison, which I showed in an earlier post), I decided to draw a simple map of the next section: The marketplace.

This section is designed to evoke the crowded feel of a chaotic marketplace while also being simple to navigate.  To the left and right of the market will be living areas, and above it will be the garrison, whose soldiers guard the market from potential thieves. In the game, characters will also hopefully be able to obtain food and armor from market stalls. I hope to create a more immersive environment by including different areas in this map like this rather than just slapping a bunch of tents onto it.

Next up: Actual graphics for the marketplace! For now, here's my quick concept sketch. The Garrison paper is just a list of object markers so that I know where my garrison objects are in the editor.

Enjoy!
~Freedan

A Merging of Elements


Hello! I'm the creator of Freedan Studios, and lead (Well, sole) artist for Maven. I'll be contributing to the blog for a while, as Solovid's founder and lead blogger (He would prefer to remain anonymous, so I'll just call him "The Designer") is busy with an internship this summer. So basically there will be more graphics - related posts for the next few weeks.

One of the most exciting events graphics - wise is the development of the first fully customized map for Maven! The Designer wrote a browser - based level creator which has made level design quite a bit more straightforward than it would otherwise have been. One of the best things about using the level creator is that I can see how all of the visuals in the game will work together as I'm placing them on the map. Until recently everything has been isolated ... tents were separated into their own individual sprite sheets, backgrounds were just single images, etc. Now they are all coming together to form a whole image, be it an outpost or a merchant's camp. Here's a small taste of the first map. I will be making changes to the doorway (E.g. the grass should cover the bottom of it) and adding additional props to make the scene more interesting, but I think this will give you an idea of what levels will be like visually.

Hope you like it!
~Freedan

P.S. I will post an update later this week showing an improved version of this scene.

New Art


vs.

Level Editor


The Maven engine (for lack of a better name) now has a a companion level editor. This is a shot of what development might look like (i.e. this isn't actually a real level setup, but it does demonstrate the editor). Our goal is to put out a new demo soon; so be on the look-out for some of these familiar sights!

Tents


Did you hear about the work Freedan Studios has been doing? It's pretty in-tents.

More Planning


We might have two new team members on board for Maven. That's an answer to prayer. One of the two being a story-er, I have been working to compile a well organized system of all notes on Maven's story-line. In addition to the implementation of the story through JourNotes, I also made a hover-over-the-place-and-see-about-it interactive map to solidify a spatial awareness of the game. Although I cannot show any of the JourNotes stuff (since it is the story), I can show a little bit of the interactive map (unfortunately, I don't have a demo version with story content edited out available).
N.B. These are graphics from RPG Maker used for planning purposes, not the actual game graphics.